Mark your Calendars!
September 28th is officially International Outdoor Loose Parts Day!
Loose Parts help take outdoor play and learning to the next level and it’s time to celebrate!
I’ve had so much fun connecting with play-based educators from around the world recently in my online Outdoor Loose Parts class. We’ve had so many exciting conversations around the beauty and benefits of loose parts outside that we’re starting a new holiday! Join children and the educators in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Scotland, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Thailand, Japan, and the USA in celebrating International Outdoor Loose Parts Day!
What are Outdoor Loose Parts?
Outdoor Loose Parts are open-ended materials that children can use however they want. Just like children playing with building blocks and plastic dinosaurs inside the classroom, Outdoor Loose Parts can be almost anything! I’m talking tennis balls, hoola hoops, traffic cones, straw bales, cardboard boxes, golf balls, scrap lumber, and plastic dinosaurs. The list goes on and on! Check out my free guide to Outdoor Loose Parts
What are the benefits of Outdoor Loose Parts?
When you add Loose Parts to your outdoor spaces you help boost children’s creativity, problem-solving, language skills, motor skills, teamwork and cooperation, stress reduction, planning and organization, resourcefulness, autonomy, self-confidence and more. That list goes on and on too!!
Where can you get Outdoor Loose Parts?
I’ve been building natural playscapes built with the amazing help of community for years and I am a big believer in the special power of tapping your local community for resources and materials. The same goes for Outdoor Loose Parts. Tennis clubs give away their old tennis balls. Huge cardboard boxes come from appliance and furniture stores. Tree cookies and branches can come from your local forester or tree service business. Straw bales come from local farms or pet food stores. All you need to do is ask!
How to manage Outdoor Loose Parts?
“Dream Big and Start Small” I like to say. You can start with a few cardboard boxes or maybe start bringing some loose play materials from indoors to your outdoor space (like plastic dinosaurs!). While it’s nice to have a big storage shed for Outdoor Loose Parts, you can start smaller with laundry baskets and milk crates (which can also be Loose Parts for play!) Children can help with clean up at the end of the day. Or maybe you have room to leave one area of your outdoor space as a “messy’ Loose Parts Zone!
How to celebrate International Outdoor Loose Parts Day?
Bring out the Loose Parts, throw a party, take some pictures and let the children play!! Tell your children it’s a day to specially celebrate their creative ideas and what they can do with the materials you provide. Send me pix and I’ll post them!
If you already use lots of Loose Parts outside – great! September 28th is a day to celebrate the great fun that happens in your outdoor space. Maybe you want to take it to the next level with adding some new materials or getting festival with balloons and streamers. Maybe you can celebrate by bringing in a bunch of cardboard boxes and building the biggest box crawl through sculpture ever!
If you are new to Loose Parts Outside – also great! September 28th is the perfect day to begin! I love the motto “Dream Big, Start Small” and with Loose Parts outside even small steps make a huge difference for children’s play and learning! Maybe you could add a big cardboard box from an appliance store to your yard. Or how about some pine cones from a local park? Maybe you can bring some of your Loose Parts from inside to use outside like blocks, balls, or art materials. Have fun!
Get your FREE Outdoor Loose Parts Guide – from me! Download now!
I’ve put together a fun guide with everything you’ll need to know: the 10 types of Outdoor Loose Parts, where to get Outdoor Loose Parts, how to Store them, important safety considerations, and a huge illustrated list of fun Loose Parts ideas to get your creativity and inspiration flowing!
Have fun celebrating International Outdoor Loose Parts Day!!!